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Compartment 14B

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Next up: getting her own phone line, then moving out on her own!

2008-02-11 - 11:14 a.m.

Heading into the weekend, we had nothing planned so it’d be pretty uneventful – certainly not good journal fodder. Boy was I wrong!

Saturday morning passed as expected: I taught my class at the gym while Grommet enjoyed the hospitality of the child-minding facilities; then we brought J a coffee and a bagel at his work (though between Grommet and I we probably ate half his bagel); Grommet fell asleep in the car on the way home and by the time she woke up J was almost due home himself. After a quick run to the grocery store J started some stuff marinating to take to the ‘rents while I had a shower, then out we went to Kemptville for yummy chicken fajitas. Things got interesting though, when it was time to load Grommet into her jacket and boots for the drive home.

Simply put, she didn’t want to go.

She refused to docilely submit to being bundled up and declared that she wanted to stay with Nana and Grampa. We tried phrasing the “let’s go” other ways, including saying things like, “if you stay, Mumma and Daddy won’t be staying” and “Mumma and Daddy are getting their coats on to leave now – don’t you want to get your coat on and come with them?” We even went to the point of calling her bluff and saying goodbye, giving her goodbye hugs and kisses, and heading out the door. Didn’t phase her one bit. She just kissed us and waved to us nonchalantly, as if it was something that happened all the time and she was totally down with it, and it certainly wasn’t like she’d never spent a night apart from both of us in her entire life and, in fact, rarely could barely to get through a night without coming into bed with us for some close physical contact, no, no, nooooo.

We were at an utter, bemused loss. On the one hand, we’d been discussing having her stay over a few times before we had to go to the hospital and leave her with them for 4 solid days, plus my mother was there saying, “she’s welcome to stay”, and – you have to understand – my mother never volunteers to babysit. I mean ever. It’s been a real burr under my saddle, so-to-speak, that I’ve got two sets of parents within close proximity and, while both would agree to babysit if pressed, neither of them will ever suggest doing so spontaneously, and there is often a marked lack of enthusiasm if it’s suggested to them. Yet I know other people with kids whose parents will drive a couple of hours to mind their grandchildren for days, sometimes even supplying daycare for them. Certainly we’ve often been the only couple having to turn down invitations for events for which all the other couples have been leaving their kids with grandparents for the evening. But I’m getting off topic… really, what I’m getting at is there was a large sense of carpe diem going on for J and I.

On the other hand, we were dubious about the abruptness of it all. One emergency change of clothes and 4 diapers seemed like a rather slim supply of essentials. We hadn’t had a chance to brief the ‘rents on Grommet’s various sleep peculiarities and how to get around some of them, and were they really mentally prepared for flying solo with a 2-year-old? And what about Grommet herself? Would she wake up in the night and freak out at the unfamiliar surroundings and the lack of her parents? In the end, we decided there was only one way to find out.

Yep, we left her there, for her first night without either of us. And odd did it feel, let me tell you.


We slept in until 9:00 am on Sunday, then we went to brunch with some childless friends, then we went to movies (I say movies because we couldn’t find one we both wanted to see, so I went to 27 Dresses while J went to Rambo), and I even managed to sneak in a quick, if relaxed, browsing at the bookstore. There may even have been some hanky panky between the sleeping in and the brunching part, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

We headed back out to the ‘rents for 4:00 and no one seemed much worse for wear for the experience. Grommet was tired because she hadn’t been able to sleep until almost midnight and then had only managed to sleep between her grandparents, plus she skipped her afternoon nap, and my mom was tired because, well, see the first part of this sentence. Other than that, it went pretty well. The Grom hadn’t freaked out with missing us and both the ‘rents seemed to manage to hang onto their sanity. My mom wasn’t too eager-seeming to repeat the experience soon (and confided to me that she’d been left with care of Grommet almost the whole time except for when she’d managed to get away for a quick shower), but at least didn’t rule it out ever happening. Good thing too, since we’re still counting on them to take charge of Grommet’s care when we go into the hospital… gulp, less than 4 months from now!

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